Weekly Newsletter

1. Mikey Sherwood
One year ago we lost one of our students with disabilities - Mike Sherwood - who was a victim of suicide.  He is still missed by his family, friends, and staff. 

Thank you for the support, love, and kindness that you provide our students and each other.  You all do make a positive difference.  Thank you for building the students and each other up. I consider all of us (staff, students, and parents) as part of a large special education and student services family.

2. Child Abuse and Neglect Mandatory Reporting Training
We have held these the past two weeks (MAES and MAMS) and will hold another one tonight as part of the MASH building special education meeting.  All staff within 5 years need to be trained. Any new staff hired in 11-12 have to be trained by June 2012 and future new staff have to be trained within 6 months of being hired.  The district will plan additional training opportunities for staff unable to attend tonight or the past two weeks.

We will meet tonight at MASH in PC Computer Lab 215.  This is for certified and support staff in special education. 

3. Special Education Family Day: Snowshoeing

Date: Thursday February 23
Time: 4:00 to 5:30 pm
Location: Kuse Nature Preserve - meet at Medford Area Elementary School Gymnasium
Who: Students and staff in special education along with their families

The Special Education Advisory Council is proud to present our Winter Event – Snowshoeing!

Special education students along with their parents and siblings can snowshoe through the Kuse Nature Preserve behind MAES. Afterwards, hot chocolate and cookies will be provided to help warm up the snowshoeing enthusiasts.

Snowshoes will be available for all parents and children or you are welcome and encouraged to bring your own. Staff will be available to help to any parents or children learn this great activity! Our Special Education Family Day is a free event for all the participants.

We hope that you will join us on February 23rd!

4. Round Table of Community Providers on February 28
February 28 from 2:15 to 3:30 or 4:00 to 5:30 in the MAES media room.
All are invited to attend to learn more about these organizations and services available in the community. Scheduled to appear: Indianhead Community Action Agency, Parent Resource Center, Taylor County Special Olympics, Health Department, Family Support Services, Medford Adult Diploma Academy, Taylor County Literacy Council, Taylor County Mental Health Services, Stepping Stones, Wisconsin Early Autism Project, Northwest CEP, and more

5. Dr. Laura Shank and Achieve Center

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Laura Shank from the Achieve Center will be coming to the Medford Area Public School District for a presentation on behavioral strategies/intervention for students with autism spectrum disorder and share information on the Achieve Center. Dr. Shank is a rehabilitation psychologist and neuropsychologist at the Achieve Center. We are in the process of confirming a date and will pass along that information when it comes available.

6. School Psychologist Long Term Substitute
The school district was unable to find a long term substitute for MAMS and MASH School Psychologist Jessica Martin on her FMLA leave. I will be filling those job responsibilities in her absence due to my school psychologist license.  I tentatively plan to work out of her MAMS office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I will work out of the District Office on Tuesday and Thursday.

7. Wilson Reading Steps 1-6 online training

We will meet at 3:30 at MAES in the computer lab to review the Wilson Reading Steps 1-6 online videos. There will also be checklists for Steps 1-6 and 7-12 shared for best practice implementation. 

8. Wisconsin Federal Funding Conference
I will be out of district on Monday and returning Tuesday early afternoon.  There is a Wisconsin Federal Funding Conference focusing on Maintenance of Effort, Special Education, Title I, CEIS, and other budgetary measures.

9. Bookshare
I have communicated with Dennis H about Bookshare (www.bookshare.com). If you have an iPad in your classroom, then you are encouraged to use the Read2Go application to access bookshare materials.  If you need to read/download audio files from bookshare on your computer, contact your building support person. Contact me for the username and password for our district account.

10. Career Fair
Recognition to Sue Eloranta and her organizing the 4th grade Career Fair Unit which was held earlier today at MAES.  Pictures are posted on our Medford Area Public School District Special Education and Student Services Facebook page.

11. Budget
Reminder that special education budgets are scheduled to be due to the D.O. on Friday.  If you need another week or have questions, please contact me.

12. Student Services Team
Student Services Team met on Monday.  If you have an interest in any of these items which were discussed, please contact me or a Student Services Team member:
1. Child Abuse Reporting and Neglect Training in Compliance with Wisconsin Act 81
2. Section 504 legal update
3. New Safety Trainings in Schools requirements
4. Student Services Activities Google Calendar
5. Suicide Prevention Policy review
6. Medford Adult Diploma Academy update
7. Round Table of Community Providers update
8. School Nursing Resources from DPI

13. ELL Services
Lucia will be out of district from Mar. 22 through April 11th.  Mauricio Rios will be filling her translation and tutoring responsibilities at SES and MAES while she is gone.

14. Facebook and Other Social Media For Parents
CLC Adult Education Training on Facebook and Other Social Media for Parents.  This will be held on Monday March 5 at MASH in PC Computer Lab.  $10.00 per person.

15. Sotos Syndrome
We have a student who has been identified with Sotos Syndrome.  Here is a link to resources on this syndrome:  http://jgreget.blogspot.com/2012/01/sotos-syndrome.html

16. Wilson Reading Video Series Resources:
Introduction to the 10 Critical Points, The Ten Critical Points, Introduction to the Lesson Plan Format, The Lesson Plan Format, Group Lesson with Younger Students. If you are interested in watching any of these, please contact me.

17. Richard Lavoie - LD/Social Skills Video Series
The Motivation Breakthrough
Last One Picked..First One Picked On
It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend
Understanding Learning Disabilities: How Difficult Can This Be?
Beyond F.A.T. (Frustration, Anxiety, and Tension) City: A Look Back and A Look Ahead

If you are interested in watching any of these, please contact me.

18. Read Write and Gold
Read Write and Gold can be installed on any iPad at MAMS.  This provides access to Reading Text Outloud, Speech (type in words and will speak out loud), Dictionary, and Audiobooks. It has been installed on 4 iPads right now for a trial purpose. Contact me for installation on your iPad.

19. MASH Rooms 127/129
MASH special education staff have provided their perspective on installing a more permanent wall between Room 127/129. Dave Makovsky has researched the cost of the project. Due to the cost and need of this project it has been decided to not change the wall at this time.